Bantala: Residents of Badmul in Angul district have finally tasted victory after waging a long battle to get their village recognised as a revenue village.
This is the first-ever instance in the country when a displaced and un-surveyed village located inside a reserve forest has been recognised as revenue village under the Forest Rights Act (FRA).
Interestingly, the village is inhabited by non-tribals (other traditional forest dwellers), who were displaced by an irrigation project several decades back.
The joys of the villagers knew no bounds when they got to know about the notification issued by the Board of Revenue in this regard.
The letter from the Board of Revenue, Odisha, Cuttack (LR&S Wing) in notification No. 3567/VI-26-18 dated 27-08-2018 maintained, “In exercise of powers conferred under Section 2 (14) of OSS Act of 1958 and in pursuance of section 3 (1)(h) of the Forest Rights Act-2006, forest village Badmul under Chhendipada Tehsil of Angul district is hereby declared as a revenue village.”
The villagers expressed their gratitude to the district Collector, Angul, staff of forest and revenue departments and former secretary MoTA, Dr Hrushikesh Panda, who supported them throughout their struggle.
Forest rights activist Pushpanjali Satpathy, who stood by the villagers during their entire struggle for recognition, was applauded by all the inhabitants.
Badmul villagers are hopeful that their struggle and victory will show light to other displaced communities, who have been residing in forest land, to fight for their rights.